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Me First and The Gimme Gimmies – Take a Break

Me First and the Gimme Gimmes have obviously earned the right to do what they wanna. For starters, the band members have earned their pins and respect outside the confines of MFGG – Fat Mike in NOFX, Spike Slawson in Swingin’ Utters, and Joey Cape and Dave Raun with Lagwagon. Moreover, the boys are for all intents and purposes the pioneers of the punk-meets-quirky-covers movement that gave more than one band a bit of attention in the late ‘90s.

The trend has yet to die, with The Ataris achieving more success from their “Boys of Summer” cover than they’ve earned with their original tunes. Does it mean MFGG is next to top the charts, courtesy of its latest batch of revamped, punkified tributes? Who gives a shit? Certainly not the Gimme Gimmes. They’re just happy to have a fun side project that fans can enjoy as well.

“Take a Break” follows the standard MFGG formula — find the tracks of the past least likely to be covered, and make ‘em rock. The guys outdid themselves with R. Kelly’s “I Believe I Can Fly,” Seal’s “Crazy” and the Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There.” MFGG’s take on Lionel Richie’s “Hello” is good, but it’s not quite as spectacular as Faith No More’s “Easy” cover of the Commodores hit.

The crown however goes to their selection and rendition of “Mona Lisa”, a song originally brought to life by Nat King Cole. They pull it off in such fantastic fashion while holding to true to their formula — and without besmirching Nat’s legend.


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